How to Create a Contract

How to Create a Contract (with a Template)

by Nicholas Tart

A blog is a place where you can express your opinions and share your knowledge, but it is also a great way to showcase your skills. From what I’ve found, it’s fairly common for start-up bloggers to receive requests for freelance work because of their blog.

However, prior to performing freelance work, it’s essential to set up a contract with your client. Here I have described how to create that contract.

Last week I met with a client who had learned about my web development projects by talking to a member of my Board of Advisors for JuniorBiz. I met with the client and he recruited me to develop a website for him over the course of the next couple weeks. In the interest of confidentiality I am not going to release his name or any other descriptions about the job other than it is related to web development.

After creating a contract for the job, I decided that a template for contracts would be a very useful tool to help guide young entrepreneurs through the sticky process of ensuring that a business deal is fair and clear for both parties. The resulting contract template is below.

What is a Contract and Why is it Important?

A contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties with a detailed description of tasks/products and deadlines one party will fulfill in exchange for a specific compensation. Contracts are important for a number of reasons:

  1. They establish the legal guidelines for the job. Meaning, legal action can be taken if either side fails to uphold their end of the agreement.
  2. They provide both parties with clear and precise expectations of the individual obligations.
  3. They effectively create a project charter with the tasks you need to complete and when you need to complete them by.

Components of a Contract

When writing your contract it’s important to include several aspects of the job. Another thing to consider when forming a contract is to keep the wording as simple and straightforward as possible. The components of a formal contract are:

  1. A detailed description the type of work to be done.
  2. A specific price and payment arrangement.
  3. A clearly worded plan that describe individual tasks and deliverables.
  4. A schedule with dates and deadlines.
  5. An agreement as to who owns the rights to what you are creating (i.e. the website files).
  6. Terms to get out of the contract.
  7. Dated signatures from all parties.

A Sample Contract and Template

After determining everything that needed to go into a contract, I created it from scratch. This was a lot of work and took me almost three hours. So I am going to post a PDF file that you can use as a template for your contracts and save you a lot of time.

DISCLAIMER: Use this template at your own discretion. I am merely providing suggestions for what you should include in your contract and how it should be formatted. If you want to ensure the legalities of your contract, please pursue legal counsel.

Here is the contract template:


Sample Contract

(It will open in a new window so you can keeping reading while referring to the contract.)

I’d be more than happy to send you this file as a word document if you want to create your own contract. Simply leave your name and contact info in the comments section below and I should get it to you in, at most, a couple days. Thanks!

Closing Remarks

All start-up companies can benefit from having a blog. Scratch that, all companies can benefit from having a blog. Originally, I didn’t consider freelance work (i.e. web development) as a source of revenue for my business. I’m still in the very early stages of development and engaging in freelance jobs is a great way to monetize a new business, especially a web-based business like JuniorBiz, LLC.

The client I mentioned in this post has told me that if I do a good job, he would be happy to refer me to other people in need of web development and other services. Other people will likely do the same.

You will have a contract between you and your client, but you should always try and go above and beyond the obligations of the contract to encourage your client to speak highly of your services.

Remember to leave your contact info below if you would like me to send you the contract template as a word document. Also, if you found this post helpful, you should Get JuniorBiz by Email. Thanks for reading.

P.S. Let me know what you think of my contract template and if I should add anything.

Photo by: churl